Being awake before the rest of the world, is quite possibly the most paramount habit you can cultivate, not only for your success, but for your mental health and well being. There are less distractions in the early hours, and therefore you can focus on the tasks you need to get done immediately. You feel fresh and are not yet worn down by the people and situations you encounter throughout the day. You're essentially getting a head start on everything you need to undertake. That early morning commute to the gym will be smooth, as you are able to beat the dreadful rush hour traffic. And you will actually get to the gym because you can no longer say, "but I don't have the time." You won't have to rush your morning, and therefore can start the day feeling serenely positive. Imagine being excited to show up to that 8:30 a.m. class.
"You have to create a vision of yourself and your life that makes you excited to get up each morning."
1. Be Consistent.
Motivation only gets us so far. With constructing any productive habit in life, the essential aspect is being dedicated to the details that will move us closer to that end goal. Trying to lose weight? Did you workout today? Trying to wake up at 6 a.m.? Did you set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you did yesterday? Breaking lazy routines is difficult because they are habits that we have ingrained our brains to become accustomed to. It is even more difficult to keep the new habit long term. This is why it is crucial to do something each and every day to bring you closer to your goal. There is a reason we often see this tip everywhere. It works.
2. Have Something to Look Forward to.
We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I know that your new job may suck, or you have to finish that group project today, but like usual no one is answering your texts and you just want to punch everyone you're working with. In order to jump right out of bed in the morning we have to know that there is a reason to do so. We need that reason to be something more positively enforcing than, "If I don't get up I'll get fired." You know when you get a new outfit, and you're actually excited to get up the next day to be able to wear it? That is the kind of excitement you have to cultivate every single day (without breaking your bank account of course).
I have a small notebook next to my bed, and every night I write down three good things that happened that day, and three things I have to look forward to for the next day. I focus on anything that may possibly make me happy; that I get to have pumpkin coffee in the morning, that I am trying a new yoga class with my roommate, that I get to work with my favorite co worker. It is so important to recognize that there are good things that will happen each and every day, as this will keep you from dreading the day. Actually writing these things down really helps you to focus on them.
For most of us, our brains feel groggy when we first wake up in the morning. If we know that we have to make breakfast, pick out an outfit for the day, figure out where we possibly left our gym shoes, purse and keys; we'll be more inclined to stay in our warm bed. Be nice to your future sleepy self, and prepare everything you can the night before. You will be granting your future self a much higher percentage of actually getting out of that bed. Make your lunch and any other meals for the next day. Plan out your outfit, pack your gym bag, leave your purse by the door, and have your coffee mug ready next to the Keurig.
4. Have a Calm Alarm.
Waking up early is already a difficult task for most, but by making small changes we can turn it into an enjoyable experience. What is not enjoyable is having a blaring alarm that sounds as if you are in the middle of a construction zone. There are apps such as, Sleep Cycle, which have calmer alarms that start slowly and gradually build up, so you are not quite as startled waking up. I promise, starting your day without your heart racing is a wonderful thing.
5. Force Yourself.
Unfortunately, there is no magic secret to building and sustaining any habit. As mentioned in tip one, you just have to keep at it. You know what the benefits are, you know this is what you should be doing. So it just comes down to the fact that you have to keep forcing yourself until this habit is a part of you and your life. You have to stay committed to this task each and every day. Jason Selk, a contributor at Forbes, explains in more detail how to really cultivate a habit beyond the typical "21 days to build a habit" mantra we tend to hear.
6. Have A Set Routine.
Knowing exactly what needs to be done when you wake up, keeps your brain from convincing yourself that there isn't really any point to waking up early. Having that routine already set, gives your brain the pass from having to do any complicated thought in the morning, as you just get up and go into auto pilot. Wake up, get done what needs to get done and go on with your day.
7. Make Your Room Bright And Warm.
We tend to sleep more in the winter due to the cold and dreary weather. As stated by accuweather; "Lack of light can cause the body to produce more of the chemical, [melatonin], making the body feel tired and sluggish." There is absolutely nothing cozier than being cuddled in bed while the weather is brisk and dark. This is also the reason that many have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. To combat this, I tend to set my alarm for about a half hour before I need to wake up and turn my air off/my heat on, and open the window to let the natural sun come in once the sun rises. This way, once it is actually time for me to get up, I am not as inclined to stay in my sleepy trance under the warm blankets, due to that dread of facing the cold.
Try out these tips, and comment below how they're working for you!